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President Obama announced that he has signed an executive order establishing the bipartisan National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling with former two-term Florida Governor and former Senator Bob Graham and former Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency William K. Reilly serving as co-chairs.
The bipartisan National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling is tasked with providing recommendations on how we can prevent – and mitigate the impact of – any future spills that result from offshore drilling.
- The commission will be focused on the necessary environmental and safety precautions we must build into our regulatory framework in order to ensure an accident like this never happens again, taking into account the other investigations concerning the causes of the spill.
- The commission will have bipartisan co-chairs with a total membership of seven people. Membership will include broad and diverse representation of individuals with relevant expertise. No sitting government employees or elected officials will sit on the commission.
- The Commission’s work will be transparent and subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The Commission will issue a report within six months of having been convened.
President Obama named the following individuals as Co-Chairs of National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling:
Senator Bob Graham is the former two–term governor of Florida and served for 18 years in the United States Senate. Senator Graham is recognized for his leadership on issues ranging from healthcare and environmental preservation to his ten years of service on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence — including eighteen months as chairman in 2001–2002. After retiring from public life in January 2005, Senator Graham served for a year as a senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. From May 2008 to February 2010, he served as Chairman of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism whose mandate was to build on the work of the 9/11 Commission. Senator Graham was also appointed to serve as a Commissioner on the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, established by Congress to examine the global and domestic causes of the recent financial crisis. The Commission will provide its findings and conclusions in a final report due to Congress on December 15, 2010. He also serves as a member of the CIA External Advisory Board and the chair of the Board of Overseers of the Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida. Senator Graham has been recognized by national and Florida organizations for his public service including The Woodrow Wilson Institute award for Public Service, The National Park Trust Public Service award and The Everglades Coalition Hall of Fame. Senator Graham earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Florida and an LLB from Harvard Law School. He is the recipient of an honorary doctorate of public service from his alma mater, the University of Florida, and honorary doctorates from Pomona College and Nova Southeastern University.
William K. Reilly is a Founding Partner of Aqua International Partners, LP, a private equity fund dedicated to investing in companies engaged in water and renewable energy, and a Senior Advisor to TPG Capital, LP, an international investment partnership. Mr. Reilly served as the first Payne Visiting Professor at Stanford University (1993-1994), Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1989-1993), president of the World Wildlife Fund (1985-1989), president of The Conservation Foundation (1973-1989), and director of the Rockefeller Task Force on Land Use and Urban Growth from (1972-1973). He also served as the head of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Earth Summit at Rio in 1992. Mr. Reilly is Chairman Emeritus of the Board of the World Wildlife Fund, Co-Chair of the National Commission on Energy Policy, Chairman of the Board of the ClimateWorks Foundation, Chairman of the Advisory Board for the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University, and a Director of the Packard Foundation and the National Geographic Society and a member of Gov. Schwarzenegger’s Delta Vision Blue Ribbon Task Force. He also serves on the Board of Directors of DuPont, ConocoPhillips, Royal Caribbean International and Energy Future Holdings, for which he serves as Chairman of the Sustainable Energy Advisory Board. In 2007 Mr. Reilly was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He holds a B.A. degree from Yale, J.D. from Harvard and M.S. in Urban Planning from Columbia University.